Kids Place Offers Pediatric Aquatic Therapy Exclusively at our Buckeye Location.

For children as young as 6 months, aquatic physical therapy integrates the unique knowledge, skills, and training of our Kids Place physical therapists. Aquatic therapy combines the therapeutic properties of water with traditional therapy techniques to achieve a greater functional level in gross motor and/or fine motor skills. Aquatic therapy is a compliment to land-based therapies and is part of a complete therapy program. For optimal carryover into functional skills, it is important that children participate in land-based therapy as well.

Benefits of Pediatric Aquatic Therapy

  • Improve strength and mobility
  • Decrease abnormal tone
  • Improve sensory processing
  • Improve balance and coordination
  • Provide a calming environment
  • Improve body awareness
  • Improve respiration and endurance
  • Improve speech and language
  • Promote muscle relaxation
  • Decrease pain
  • Increase movement
  • Promote social interaction

Conditions Treated with Pediatric Aquatic Therapy

  • Sensory regulation
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • ADHD
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Muscle incoordination
  • Spinal muscular atrophy
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Orthopedic impairments
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Osteogenesis Inperfecta

Aquatic Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

Aquatic Therapy uses the physical qualities of water as a form of rehabilitation and/or exercise without the compressive loading forces present with land-based physical therapy. Aquatic therapy is professionally conducted by a licensed physical therapist in shallow, temperature-controlled water.

Some of the benefits of aquatic therapy for children include improved strength, improved balance, postural strength, midline strength, head control, achievement of gross motor skills, improved ambulation, and decrease tone/spasticity. Some diagnoses that can be treated with aquatic therapy are:

  • Sensory Regulation
  • Sensory Processing Disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • ADHD
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Muscle Incoordination
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Stroke
  • Orthopedic Impairments
  • Rett Syndrome

Water is a great medium to treat throughout the life span. It is recommended for infants as young as 6 months of age throughout the life span of adults.

Aquatic (water) therapy uses the buoyancy, viscosity, thermodynamics, and hydrostatic pressure of water to achieve therapeutic goals. Treatment in water decreases swelling and reduces weight-bearing allowing you to perform exercises without pain and earlier by comparison to land.

Aquatic physical therapy, like land-based physical therapy, is part of the physical medicine and rehabilitation specialty involving the expertise and knowledge of a licensed physical therapist. Land-based therapy incorporates the rehabilitation of an individual using therapeutic activities and exercises against gravity. In contrast, aquatic-based therapy applies much different therapeutic activities and exercises in a temperature-controlled body of water.

For more information, check out this blog from our website – Aquatic vs Land Therapy – What is the Difference?

The pool temperature is 90 degrees with an ambient room temperature of 91-93 degrees. Humidity is usually around 40-43%. The jacuzzi is 98 degrees.

Our pool has three depths starting at 3 feet with two steps down to 4 feet and another two steps down to 5 feet at its deepest.

Yes, AzOPT physical therapists prefer being in the water, working hands-on, one-on-one with you. However, there may be a time when it’s necessary for your physical therapist to stand on the pool deck to monitor or teach a specific move.

No, you do not need to know how to swim as therapy will occur at an appropriate level for you to maintain your head above water in a natural standing position. Children will be supported by therapist or floatation devices, as necessary, to perform therapeutic activities.

45 minutes to 1 hour.

A swimsuit is preferred to keep chemicals balanced and reduce dirt/debris in the pool. Water shoes are based on preference. Children who are not toilet trained are required to wear swim diapers or reusable swim diapers. You are welcome to wear goggles, a swim cap, and ear covering/plugs.

We have a shower/restroom and swimsuit dryer in the pool area, so you can arrive in street clothes, shower before and after your session, and leave in your street clothes without having to carry around wet clothing. Showering will allow you to rinse off any oils and pool chemicals before and after using the pool. If you like, you can bring soap and/or shampoo, but a warm water rinse should be sufficient.

Any children/siblings/family members must remain seated in chairs by the entrance. Only patients are allowed near the pool/jacuzzi. Parents of children receiving therapy are allowed to sit poolside but are not allowed in the pool with the child.

Yes, aquatic therapy is billed to your insurance similarly to land-based exercise/activity in the gym. Insurance will cover it the same as a normal physical therapy session.

If you are diabetic, please check blood sugar prior to getting in the pool. Being in the pool will cause a drop in blood sugar levels due to physical activity in a warm environment. You may not enter the pool/jacuzzi with open wounds/surgical incisions. You may not enter the pool with active diarrhea or within 14 days of having diarrhea.

Yes, you can eat with no ill effects. It is recommended children with reflux concerns eat 1-2 hours prior to avoid increased issues due to hydrostatic pressure when submerged in a vertical position.

Dehydration is very common when in the pool due to the kidneys working more optimally. Please feel free to bring a water bottle to the session and have a poolside. Children should be encouraged to drink a glass of water prior to and after treatment sessions.

Play Better. Function Better. Live Better.

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